Welcome back to the blog!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s been a while friends. You’re probably wondering where the heck I have been. TBH, there isn’t really any drawn out dramatic answer, I just wanted to do other things. I was out living my life. I’m at an age where I’m trying to just figure it out. Recently, I realized I missed documenting things here that I was able to look back on and remember where I was in different points of my life. Which brings me back to this little corner of the internet today!
Over the last year, I’ve taken on a new hobby; rock climbing! My first time to The Climbing Wall in the East End left me challenged and sore. And every time after that, I’ve left feeling the same! I’ve always been athletic, but climbing is something different. It requires insane upper body strength and strategy. I’m by no means a pro or probably even what people would consider “good”, but it’s fun! When I was growing up participating in sports and athletics, it was always very competitive. Being the best was the most important. In climbing, it is not like that AT ALL. Climbing is such a supportive community of genuine people that encourage each other. I’ve had complete strangers high-five me when I finish a challenging route. When I work out at a traditional gym, no one talks to anyone. When I go to the climbing gym, EVERYONE talks to EVERYONE. It is so refreshing.
When I heard a new climbing gym, ASCEND Pittsburgh, was opening in the South Side this past week I knew I had to check it out. When we arrived at the renovated building on Saturday afternoon, we were blown away. There are 4 separate bouldering walls to choose from with many difficult routes. (Bouldering is free climbing without ropes or belay.) There is also a auto-belay wall. It requires certificiation and I haven’t gotten that far yet. There is also a yoga studio, a fitness area, a kitchen, a chess lounge, child watch room and an indoor bike rack!
First things first, fill out your waiver online on before you go! It speeds up the check-in process. ASCEND has two convenient free parking lots for visitors, a nice perk for its location. They offer a variety of membership options that can be found here; we opt-ed for the day pass. We were pleased to see if it’s your first time visiting, climbing shoe and chalk bag rental were complimentary! We made our way to the locker room to stash our belongings (we wish we brought a lock for the locker, next time!). We then were given a walk through of the gym explaining rules, etc. After our short tour, we were off! We climbed on every wall we could get up and had a blast! We spend a total of two hours climbing. At the end, my arms were so tired and sore I just couldn’t pick myself up the wall anymore!
It is an AMAZING facility and I had a really great experience. I thought I should note though if you are a brand new climber, like my friend who joined me, there aren’t many routes for you. ASCEND to me is a gym for the more experienced. If you are a beginner, I would recommend visiting The Climbing Wall on the East End first. The walls are not as tall, there are more VB-VO routes and it’s cheaper. (Ladies night special on Wednesday, $6!) My friend that accompanied me said she felt she needed to spend some more time there before level-ing up to ASCEND.
I’m excited to be back to blogging! Look for more to come.
xoxo, Belle of the Burgh